Category Archives: Anthropology

Coming to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran

What do you know about Iran? Correction: What do you think you know about Iran?

In Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, co-authors Hillary Mann Leverett of American University and Flynt Leverett of Penn State University acknowledge the biases within Americans’ perceptions of Iran. Both authors previously worked overseas for the state department, which is how they met and were given front row seats to the government’s interactions with the Middle East beginning with the Gulf War.

Watch “Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran with Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett” as they discuss the desires and politics of Iran compared to the American quest for dominance in the region, and listen to their proposal for improving U.S. relations and perceptions of Iran, emulating the way Nixon strengthened relations with China.

If you like this video, see other programs in International Affairs and the Middle East.

Watch more Conversations with History videos.

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Climate Justice: A Humanitarian Approach to Environmental Equality

We have all heard about climate change, but did you know that there is a fight for justice within this claim?

Climate justice is more than just a demand for the stop of wrongful damage to the environment. It goes deeper into the tangible effects of climate change and the way they are unequally effecting the world’s population.

According to the Center on Global Justice at UC San Diego, “Climate Justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centered approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly. Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science, and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources.”

Mary Robinson was the first woman president of Ireland and has served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has been a long standing icon for social justice and has recently devoted her attention to campaigning for climate justice.

In “Pursuing Climate Justice with Mary Robinson and V. Ramanathan,” presented by UC San Diego’s Center on Global Justice, hear Robinson discuss climate justice with V. Ramanathan, distinguished professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

If you like this video, check out V. Ramanathan’s series “Lifting the Blanket:The Pursuit of a Climate Change Solutions.”

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Inside Iraq with Hamid Al-Bayati

Ten years have passed since the United States and allies invaded Iraq. Get an eye-opening look at how those ten years have shaped Iraq’s history, presented by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego.

Hamid Al-Bayati, Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, gives an insider’s perspective on life in Iraq through Saddam Hussein’s reign. Hear Al-Bayati explain what it was like to live amongst the shocking violence and war crimes while in opposition of the dictatorship. He describes the consequences of war that Iraqis faced and warns against the reality of war.

Watch and you may learn some surprising things about Iraq in Iraq’s Journey from Dictatorship to Democracy:

To learn more, check out these videos on Iraq.

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32 Cluttered Families… Mine, too!

By Shannon Bradley, UCTV Producer

As the UCTV Prime producer behind “A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance,” I was drawn to this project because I am that demographic – I’m a middle-class, married mom who juggles work and family and who often feels overwhelmed by the stuff that fills our Southern California home.  I was curious about what the anthropologists (or ethnoarchaeologists, as they call themselves) would say about our lives.

I opened the book (on which this series is based), with a sense of fascination and dread.

photo[4]

I felt like a voyeur at first, seeing these vivid, intimate photographs of the insides of people’s homes. I couldn’t help but compare their bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and garages to my own.  And,like a New Year’s resolution, I was inspired to de-clutter the parts of my house that I control.

I started with my sons’ bedrooms.  After nearly drowning in toys, trucks, and yes, Beanie Babies, they now each have rooms that reflect who they are today –

Boy's room

a baseball shrine for one and a soccer/Lego/surf museum for the other.  Their old stuff is long gone to AmVets.

But then, I stopped.  I did light cleans in the kitchen and living areas, but there was no way I could make a dent in my husband’s office or the garage, which are the messiest spaces.

garage

OfficeInstead, I took what I learned from the book about the causes of clutter and chose to apply those lessons forward for the rest of the house.  I’m more careful now about adding to our possessions, by limiting bulk purchases and taking inventory before I shop, but I also understand that as long as I share my household with others, I will be surrounded by their stuff. And, like Lyn Repath-Martos (Family 27),  I’ve made peace with that.


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Is Your Kitchen a “Command Center?”

Think about your home for a second. What room gets the most traffic? Where do your kids do their homework? What does all of that stuff on the refrigerator door say about your family?

For middle-class American families, real estate inside the home can be as precious as the land underneath.  In “Space,” the final installment of UCTV Prime’s series “A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance,” UCLA anthropologists track how 32 families organize and prioritize their living space, with kitchens as command centers, bathrooms as bottlenecks, and master suites, in some cases, remodeled into hotel-like sanctuaries.

Don’t miss “Space — A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance (Ep. 3)” and, if you haven’t already, catch up with “Stuff (Ep. 1)” and “Food (Ep. 2”). You just might view your home — and maybe your family — a whole lot differently.

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